Can you get into Oxford University with weak GCSEs?

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The RAR
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Say your GCSEs are all As or mostly As but no A*s, can you still make a competitive application? Just curious to find out if it's actually possible to still make a competitive application with weak GCSEs.
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Cubone-r
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(Original post by The RAR)
Say your GCSEs are all As or mostly As but no A*s, can you still make a competitive application? Just curious to find out if it's actually possible to still make a competitive application with weak GCSEs.
No. Oxford admission tutors scoff at the sight of regular As.
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Plagioclase
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(Original post by The RAR)
Say your GCSEs are all As or mostly As but no A*s, can you still make a competitive application? Just curious to find out if it's actually possible to still make a competitive application with weak GCSEs.
It seems to vary subject-by-subject but in theory, as long as it's not Medicine you're applying for and the rest of your application is competitive, yes.
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DrSocSciences
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(Original post by The RAR)
Say your GCSEs are all As or mostly As but no A*s, can you still make a competitive application? Just curious to find out if it's actually possible to still make a competitive application with weak GCSEs.
Just asking the question indicates that you may not be the calibre of candidate they seek. Think about it: it's a tightly controlled duopoly, in which demand far outstrips supply. In an environment that values excellence, they don't need to look at results that might be regarded as average.
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Plagioclase
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(Original post by DrSocSciences)
Just asking the question indicates that you may not be the calibre of candidate they seek. Think about it: it's a tightly controlled duopoly, in which demand far outstrips supply. In an environment that values excellence, they don't need to look at results that might be regarded as average.
Except people can change and there is little merit in rejecting an otherwise outstanding applicant just because of their GCSEs. Sure, the average number of A*s at GCSE for successful applicants is quite high, but people still get in with "lower" GCSE results.
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CatInTheBox
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(Original post by Cubone-r)
No. Oxford admission tutors scoff at the sight of regular As.
Pah! Regular As, the rabble's grade.
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Jumpman89
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(Original post by The RAR)
Say your GCSEs are all As or mostly As but no A*s, can you still make a competitive application? Just curious to find out if it's actually possible to still make a competitive application with weak GCSEs.
I got 3A*, 6A and 1 B and i got an offer for Oxford Law this year. So yeah you can
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C.Torero
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I know someone who got As and Bs and still got an offer.
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Papa Obeng
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I very nearly did get into Oxford with very poor GCSEs. I had 1A* at GCSE, INCLUDING A C IN MATHS!
I applied to Keble College for Philosophy and Theology and was chosen to come to interview for 2 days (8 people were chosen out of a total of more than 28).
So, despite my abysmal GCSE results, how did I make it this far in my Oxford application? Well, firstly I smashed my AS Level's. What Oxford admissions tutors like is someone who has what they call a high 'potential' for progress. So that's someone who's basically done bad at GCSE but extremely well at AS and A Level (only problem is, if your school does the new A Level and enters you for the AS level at the end of year 13, it's less likely if you apply to Oxford you'll be considered for interview because the most recent grades they have to go on are your GCSEs. In that case, when you do smash your A Levels, I'd consider taking a gap year then applying.
Secondly, I smashed the Philosophy admissions test... And believe me, it was extremely hard. And that's the thing - you can have 100A*s but if you don't score impressive marks on your admissions test then you're screwed mate.
Thirdly, my personal statement was very impressive - a lot of time was invested in it.
So overall this got me to interview, but that was the stumbling block for me - interviews were just too tough for me - I left them knowing I haven't done well. And with only 3 spaces, you can't afford to slip up. If you do want any chance of getting in if you get an interview, here's the advice I would give you - BE YOURSELF!
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nexttime
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(Original post by Cubone-r)
No. Oxford admission tutors scoff at the sight of regular As.
(Original post by CatInTheBox)
Pah! Regular As, the rabble's grade.
I mean, that kind of is true though. Both medicine and Computer science publicly state that they only score A* grades (with other subjects leaving it ambiguous), and whilst obviously its possible to get in with As, they will not help (in the case of CS, as far as we know) or are actively bad (in the case of medicine).

https://www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/study/me...cal/statistics

https://www.cs.ox.ac.uk/admissions/u...Report2015.pdf
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gavinlowe
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(Original post by nexttime)
I mean, that kind of is true though. Both medicine and Computer science publicly state that they only score A* grades (with other subjects leaving it ambiguous), and whilst obviously its possible to get in with As, they will not help (in the case of CS, as far as we know) or are actively bad (in the case of medicine).

https://www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/study/me...cal/statistics

https://www.cs.ox.ac.uk/admissions/u...Report2015.pdf
That's also kind-of true; but not the full story for Computer Science. It's true that we use the proportion of A*s at GCSE as part of our provisional short-listing indicator. However, it plays a fairly small role: the MAT is far more important. Further, there's a fairly wide discretionary band, where tutors consider everything they know about candidates: that will include A grades at GCSE.

Having said that, nearly all our offers go to candidates with six of more A*s. That's because we're trying to pick talented candidates, and talented candidates tend to have excellent GCSEs. However, some people are late developers.

Gavin
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The RAR
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(Original post by Papa Obeng)
I very nearly did get into Oxford with very poor GCSEs. I had 1A* at GCSE, INCLUDING A C IN MATHS!
I applied to Keble College for Philosophy and Theology and was chosen to come to interview for 2 days (8 people were chosen out of a total of more than 28).
So, despite my abysmal GCSE results, how did I make it this far in my Oxford application? Well, firstly I smashed my AS Level's. What Oxford admissions tutors like is someone who has what they call a high 'potential' for progress. So that's someone who's basically done bad at GCSE but extremely well at AS and A Level (only problem is, if your school does the new A Level and enters you for the AS level at the end of year 13, it's less likely if you apply to Oxford you'll be considered for interview because the most recent grades they have to go on are your GCSEs. In that case, when you do smash your A Levels, I'd consider taking a gap year then applying.
Secondly, I smashed the Philosophy admissions test... And believe me, it was extremely hard. And that's the thing - you can have 100A*s but if you don't score impressive marks on your admissions test then you're screwed mate.
Thirdly, my personal statement was very impressive - a lot of time was invested in it.
So overall this got me to interview, but that was the stumbling block for me - interviews were just too tough for me - I left them knowing I haven't done well. And with only 3 spaces, you can't afford to slip up. If you do want any chance of getting in if you get an interview, here's the advice I would give you - BE YOURSELF!
What shall I do in the gap year? Do more GCSEs in order to get more A*s?
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